I’ve received a few questions from students and teachers about my e-learning experience since lockdown. Well, I’m not sure about other schools in the UK, but for my school, we use a variety of means for our online learning: live lessons, set work, and Internet websites. For your information, I’m currently in Year 8, which is the second year of secondary school. Things might be different in other years, but I’ll talk about our e-learning for Year 8.
Our online learning is exactly the same as a 9am-4pm normal school day, from registration until the end of the day, with 8 periods and the same timetable, except we do it all at home. The subjects we’ve done through online learning are English, Religious Studies, History, Biology, Maths, Latin, Drama, Art, French, Physics, Design and Technology, Geography, Music, Chemistry, and Sports. Some were through live lessons, and other times, we were set work, where we had to work and then submit it digitally at the end of every lesson. And of course, we have break and lunch at normal times.
For live lessons, we’ve been using an app called Zoom, which is widely used by other schools and universities. Each session lasts for 40 minutes, and there are different things both the teacher and the students can do. If it’s required, you can turn on your webcam, or just have the mic on. There is an option to mute the mic, so not everyone is talking over each other at the same time. And what’s really useful is that you can share your computer screen with others, so you can put up notes, a question, or anything else you need pupils to see.
In terms of set work, we’ve been using Google Classroom most of the time. That’s where teachers can set assignments, post announcements, and ask questions. We’ve also been set work on Firefly, our school’s intranet system.
For Maths specifically, we’ve had live lessons on Zoom where the teacher shared their screen with us so we could see the notes and answer questions. Also, we were set work on a website called MyiMaths, where the teacher can set tasks related to specific topics. This could also be the case for other subjects, such as languages, where you could be set tasks on websites like Duolingo etc.
Personally, I find that the live lessons are the most successful for introducing new topics or going over more difficult work, because the teacher is there to explain the work to you, and if you’re stuck, you can ask them a question. However, set tasks work just as well if the work is more straightforward.
Hopefully, this little bit of my e-learning experience could be useful for both students who want to know more about what e-learning is like, and for teachers who want to create an ideal work environment for online school. If you have any more questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. I’d be more than happy to share about my e-learning experience.